For your Bay of Islands & Cape Brett Tour from Auckland you will be picked up from your hotel in downtown Auckland at around 0645h (06:45am). Alternatively you can meet the coach at Sky City Travel Centre, 102 Hobson Street, Auckland, at 0730h (07:30 am).
Your route takes you across Auckland Harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast to the Bay Of Islands. The journey takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes. A brief stop (time permitting) will be made at the Parry Kauri Park where you can view some of the world’s biggest trees – the magnificent kauri, a native of New Zealand.
Seven hundred years ago Bay of Islands was the landing point for one of the large Maori migration canoes bearing members of the Ngapuhi Iwi (tribe). In 1769, it was visited by Captain Cook, who gave the area its name. Later the Bay became the first part of New Zealand to be settled by Europeans.
You will visit Paihia, one of the earliest New Zealand towns, and Waitangi, the “birthplace of the nation”, where the Treaty of Waitangi between the Maoris and the Europeans was signed in 1840.
You will visit the Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds. Features of interest include:
• The Treaty House : one of New Zealand's oldest historic homes
• Te Whare Runanga: fully carved Maori Meeting House
• One of the world's largest Maori ceremonial war canoes
• Naval Flagstaff marking the place where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed
Then board a high-speed catamaran for a cruise in the Bay of Islands. Your boat will whisk you through clear blue waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse.
At Motukokako Island you will sail right through the famous Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey you will go more slowly and meander through the inner islands.
The crew will tell you about the local history and ecology and you will may see a variety of marine wildlife including whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and other sea and bird life. A picnic lunch is provided on board.
On completion of your cruise, rejoin your coach for your return journey to Auckland. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at the place where you were picked up.